The responses of the inner retinal neurons of turtle to light spots of sizes were studied in an attempt to reveal characteristics that may reflect possible interactions of the neural circuits underlying the center and surround responses. For the ON-OFF cells, the responses were also analyzed to observe whether interference or augmentation of these responses occur. The intracellular recordings revealed several such interactions, observed either in the form of altered spike activity or as changes in the transiency of the light responses. The ON-responding amacrine cell presented in this study became more sustained, while for the ON-OFF amacrine cells larger light spots tended to make the responses more transient and both the ON and OFF components became more pronounced. The spiking activity of the OFF-type ganglion cell shifted in relation to the light stimulus and the number of spikes observed upon presentation of larger spots increased. We suggest that the surround circuits activated by increasing light spots may substantially influence and reorganize not only the overall center-surround balance, but also the center response of the cells. Although it cannot be excluded that intrinsic membrane properties also influence these processes to some extent, it is more likely that lateral inhibition and disinhibitory mechanisms play the leading role in this process.
Authors:Éva Tékus, Mónika Kaj, Edina Szabó, Nikolett Szénási, Ildikó Kerepesi, Mária Figler, R. Gábriel and Márta Wilhelm
Several studies have described high correlation of salivary and blood lactate level during exercise. Measuring the effectiveness and intensity of training, lactate concentration in blood, and lately in saliva are used.The aim of our study was to evaluate the correlation between the concentration and timing of salivary and blood lactate level in endurance athletes and non-athletes after a maximal treadmill test, and to identify physiological and biochemical factors affecting these lactate levels.Sixteen volunteers (8 athletes and 8 non-athletes) performed maximal intensity (Astrand) treadmill test. Anthropometric characteristics, body composition and physiological parameters (heart rate, RR-variability) were measured in both studied groups. Blood and whole saliva samples were collected before and 1, 4, 8, 12, 15, 20 min after the exercise test. Lactate level changes were monitored in the two groups and two lactate peaks were registered at different timeperiods in athletes. We found significant correlation between several measured parameters (salivary lactate — total body water, salivary lactate — RR-variability, maximal salivary lactate — maximal heart rate during exercise, salivary- and blood lactate −1 min after exercise test). Stronger correlation was noted between salivary lactate and blood lactate in athletes, than in controls.
Authors:Krisztina Szabadfi, P. Kiss, D. Reglodi, E. Fekete, A. Tamas, B. Danyadi, T. Atlasz and R. Gabriel
Urocortin 2 (Ucn 2) is a corticotrop releasing factor paralog peptide with many physiological functions and it has widespread distribution. There are some data on the cytoprotective effects of Ucn 2, but less is known about its neuro- and retinoprotective actions. We have previously shown that Ucn 2 is protective in ischemia-induced retinal degeneration. The aim of the present study was to examine the protective potential of Ucn 2 in monosodium-glutamate (MSG)-induced retinal degeneration by routine histology and to investigate cell-type specific effects by immunohistochemistry. Rat pups received MSG applied on postnatal days 1, 5 and 9 and Ucn 2 was injected intravitreally into one eye. Retinas were processed for histology and immunocytochemistry after 3 weeks. Immunolabeling was determined for glial fibrillary acidic protein, vesicular glutamate transporter 1, protein kinase Cα, calbindin, parvalbumin and calretinin. Retinal tissue from animals treated with MSG showed severe degeneration compared to normal retinas, but intravitreal Ucn 2 treatment resulted in a retained retinal structure both at histological and neurochemical levels: distinct inner retinal layers and rescued inner retinal cells (different types of amacrine and rod bipolar cells) could be observed. These findings support the neuroprotective function of Ucn 2 in MSG-induced retinal degeneration.
Authors:D. S. G. Henriques, P. A. V. Borges and R. Gabriel
How are bryophyte alpha and beta diversities distributed across spatial scales along an elevational gradient in an oceanic island? Which mechanisms and drivers operate to shape them? Starting from a multiscale hierarchical sampling approach along an 1000 m elevational transect, we used additive diversity partitioning and null modeling to evaluate the contributions of the alpha and beta diversity components to overall bryophyte diversity in Terceira Island, Azores. Substrate-level diversity patterns were explored by means of the Sørensen Similarity Index and the Lloyd Index of Patchiness. Elevation-level beta diversity was decomposed into its replacement and richness differences components, with several environmental variables being evaluated as diversity predictors. Bryophyte diversity proved to be primarily due to beta diversity between elevation sites, followed by diversity among substrates. Compositional differences between neighboring sites decreased with elevation, being mainly caused by species replacement and correlating with differences in relative humidity and disturbance. At the substrate level, we found a great homogeneity in terms of species composition, coupled with a low substrate specialization rate. We conclude that, in Terceira’s native vegetation patches, regional processes, such as environmental gradients associated with elevation, play a greater role in shaping bryophyte diversity than local processes. Moister and less disturbed areas at mid-high elevation harbor a richer bryoflora, consistently more similar and stable between neighbouring sites. Simultaneously, the different substrates available are somewhat ecologically redundant, supporting few specialized species, pointing to these areas providing optimal habitat conditions for bryophytes. Our findings provide a better understanding of how bryophyte diversity is generated in Terceira Island, indicating that management and conservation measures should focus on island-level approaches, aiming to protect and rehabilitate additional natural vegetation patches at different elevations, especially in the severely disturbed lowlands.